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Courses Offered

PSCI 200 Political Violence and Terrorism

(First semester-odd years/4 credits)

An in-depth examination of the causes and patterns of modern terrorism and reactions intended to achieve justice. Students will investigate case studies of recent occurrences of terrorism and responses. Central themes will include retribution vs. reconciliation, state- sponsored terrorism and/or international tribunals.

 

PSCI 202 Women and Politics (CORE—Social and Behavioral Analysis)

(Second semester/3 credits) 

This course examines politics from a gendered perspective with an emphasis on how gender interacts with race, class and sexuality to impact women as political beings. This course focuses on women’s political participation in radical social movements such as movements for women’s suffrage, the civil rights movement and labor movements; women in electoral politics; and women in political community work.

PSCI 203 Introduction to U.S. Politics (CORE—Social and Behavioral Analysis)

Credit by exam. (Both semesters/4 credits)

An introduction to the U.S. system of government and its policy process. Will explore the foundations and structure of the government, the way in which policy is crafted in the U.S. governmental institutions and other electoral processes including elections.

PSCI 205 Methods of Political Inquiry

Prerequisite: Any 3 credits of social science or permission of the instructor. Sophomore standing required. For political science majors, PSCI 203 or 210 is recommended. (Second semester/3 credits) 

This course will introduce students to a variety of quantitative and qualitative research methods used in political science. Students will learn the tools needed to conduct original research. Among the topics to be covered are: survey research, interviewing, content analysis, historical analysis and legal analysis. Students will complete an original research project using at least one of the above techniques.

PSCI 210 Comparative Politics (CORE—Social and Behavioral Analysis)

(First semester/3 credits) 

An introduction to the methods of comparative inquiry with close examination of select western democracies, communist, post-communist and developing countries. Comparisons of historical processes, governmental institutions and current public policy challenges.

PSCI 215 International Relations

(Second semester/4 credits)

An introduction to the theories and current issues of international relations. Attention given to tension between nationalism and transnationalism and to modern phenomena such as the international economy and the global environment.

PSCI 220 Maryland Student Legislature

(As needed/1 credit) 

The Maryland Student Legislature is a student-run organization that meets three times per year, twice in the spring semester. Participants assume the role of a Maryland legislator, craft and submit legislation, and shepherd the bills through committee and floor debate. Participants in this course are required to attend both the spring interim session in March and the annual session in April, which takes place in Annapolis. Students may receive credit for this course only once. Students may register for the course more than once but will not receive additional credit.

LWPS 230 Introduction to Law (CORE—Social and Behavioral Analysis)

(Both semesters/3 credits) 

Law and the legal system in the United States. The impact of legal institutions on society. The law as a reflection of political, economic and social values.

AFPS 240 African-American Politics

(First semester—even years/3 credits) 

An examination of African-American political activity in the 20th century. African-American participation in the U.S. electoral process and the power structure in African-American communities.

HSPS 345 Global Perspectives on Women, Power and Politics

Prerequisite: One of the following: HIST 262, HIST 263, PSCI 202, PSCI 210, PSCI 215 or permission of the instructor. (Course is offered as needed/4 credits)

An interdisciplinary, global perspective on women, power and politics. The course will focus on the different ways in which gender structures women’s political experiences and how race, class and ethnicity intersect with gender in shaping political consciousness and action. Readings will emphasize women’s power within established formal government structures as well as the informal exercise of power through religion, family and society. Their leadership in grassroots movements and contributions to nation building will be highlighted.

 

PSCI 299 Special Topics in Political Science

Prerequisite: PSCI 203. (Offered as needed/3 credits) 

This course is a general topics course in political science allowing faculty and students to study particular special interests in politics.

AFPS 301 African-American Political Autobiography (CORE—Western Civilization)

Prerequisite: 3 credits in African-American history, literary criticism or politics, or permission of the instructor. (Course is offered as needed/3 credits) 

This course examines the connections between autobiography, political philosophy, utopian thought and politics in African-American autobiographies. Selected African-American political autobiographies will be analyzed to determine the criticisms authors launched against their societies, the social and political alternatives suggested and the agencies they suggested be mobilized to institute change.

PSCI 302 9/11 in Global Perspective

Prerequisite: PSCI 200 or PSCI 215 or permission of instructor. (Second semester—odd years/3 credits) 

This political science course examines the events of September 11, 2001 from a global perspective. 9/11 was a catastrophic event for American history, politics and democracy. This course explores the philosophical motives of Al Qaeda, the U.S. government’s institutional responses and failures, the initial opposition and then creation of a 9/11 commission, the compromise to constitutional rights and law, the effect on political attitudes and popular culture, the ensuing Afghan and Iraq wars, and the international community’s response to the tragedies of that day.

PSCI 303 Public Policy Analysis

 

Prerequisite: PSCI 203 or permission of instructor. (Either semester/4 credits)

Public policymaking is a developmental process with both intended and unintended consequences. In this course students will explore the public policy-making process and engage in public policy analysis. The course will focus on the theories of public policy formation and the institutions involved in the policy making process. The course will focus on several case studies of substantive policy areas that are hotly debated in policy arenas, including social welfare policy, health policy, crime policy and education policy.

 

PSCI 305 U.S. Foreign Policy

Prerequisite: PSCI 203 or PSCI 215. (Second semester—odd years/3 credits) 

Review of the contemporary U.S. foreign policy-making process. Emphasis on the history of the U.S. foreign policy, the conflict between the executive and the legislative branches, the role of interest groups and recent foreign policy crises.

PSCI 307 American Constitutional Law

Prerequisite: PSCI 203. (First semester/3 credits) 

The powers of the state and national governments as interpreted by leading decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States. The development of modern constitutional doctrines.

 

PSCI 308 Criminal Law

Prerequisite: LWPS 230. (Second semester—odd years/3 credits) 

Criminal law addresses the substantive study of criminal law. Criminal law focuses on how society declares what conduct is criminal and what punishment should be imposed for such conduct. Criminal law also explores such questions as what effect does heredity, environment, poverty, urban life, lack of education and unemployment have on the proclivity for criminal behavior. The American Institute’s Model Penal Code which is an essential aspect of the inquiry of criminal law will also be examined.

PSRL 310 The Politics of the Black Church

Prerequisite: 3 credits of history, religion, political science or African-American studies at the 200 level, or permission of the instructor. (Second semester—odd years, as needed/3 credits) 

This course examines the political manifestation of the black church from slavery, as the “invisible institution,” to the “black megachurch” of the 21st century. We will look at the periods of American slavery, the Great Migration and the Civil Rights Movement and will cover themes such as black theology, the politics of gender, class conflict, black nationalism and community development.

HNPS 313 Great Political Trials (CORE—Non-Western Civilization or Western Civilization)

Prerequisite: Open to sophomores, juniors and seniors in the Honors Program, or with permission of the instructor. (First semester—odd years/3 credits) 

This course is an analysis of great political trials (both Western and non-Western) that have reflected the political controversies of their time. We will examine the Western tradition of law and legal analysis through trials held in the United States, France and England. An analysis of trials held under socialist, Islamic and indigenous political systems will provide an opportunity for contrast and comparison with the Western tradition of law.

PSCI 317 Urban Politics

Prerequisite: PSCI 203. (Second semester—even years/3 credits) 

This course examines the politics of urban areas. We will first examine them theoretically and consider some of the classical explanations used to explain how they are governed. The course also examines cities historically—how they developed and how the evolving global economy and political climate has led to current trends such as urban sprawl and a growth imperative. Particular consideration is paid to the growing divide between the haves and the have-nots in U.S. cities and the growing inequalities that are based on race, gender and class.

PSCI 320 Congressional and Presidential Politics

Prerequisite: PSCI 203 or permission of the instructor. (Offered as needed/3 credits) 

This course focuses on the president and U.S. Congress and the way in which they interact. We will examine both branches and their influence in the policy process. It includes hands-on experience including a semester-long simulation of the legislative process.

PSCI 323 Politics of the Developing World (CORE—Non-Western Civilization)

Prerequisite: PSCI 210 or 215. (Either semester/3 credits) 

Political regimes in the developing nations of Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America.

PSCI 324 U.S. Campaigns and Elections

Prerequisite: PSCI 203 or permission of the instructor. (First semester—even years/3 credits) 

An analysis of U.S. campaigns and elections. Emphasis on the role that parties, interest groups and media play in our electoral system.

PSCI 325 Field Work in Politics

Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor. (First semester—even years/2 credits/3rd credit option available) 

Designed to acquaint the student with political activity. Supervised work with political campaign of student’s choice.

PSCI 332 Ancient and Medieval Political Thought (CORE—Western Civilization)

Prerequisite: Fulfillment of the Historical Analysis section of the Core or permission of the instructor. (First semester—odd years/4 credits)

A critical examination of the political writings of classical and medieval philosophers. Emphasis will be on the development and evolution of concepts such as democracy, justice, citizenship, community and the relationship between church and state.

PSCI 335 Undergraduate Teaching Assistantship

Prerequisites: Junior or senior standing, PSCI 203 and permission of the department. (Either semester/1 credit) 

A junior or senior major may serve as teaching assistant in introductory courses. The assistant would attend classes, tutor students, show films and participate in periodic conferences with the instructor and other teaching assistants. Other duties would include assisting the instructor in other class-related projects, such as organizing field trips, speakers and discussion sessions. May be taken only once. Grading is on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis.

PSCI 336 Gender and the Law

Prerequisite: PSCI 203, 307 or permission of the instructor. (Second semester/3 credits) 

A study of the various areas of sex-based legal discrimination and an examination of the relevant cases and statutes.

AFPS 350 African Politics (CORE—Non-Western Civilization)

Prerequisite: HIST 246 or permission of the instructor. (First semester—even years/3 credits) 

An introductory survey of post-independence political patterns and processes in Africa. Emphasis will be given to current political dynamics such as democratization and state-society relations. Case studies in Southern and Eastern Africa will be used.

AFPS 353 Contemporary African Political Thought (CORE—Non-Western Civilization)

Prerequisite: HIST 246, AFPS 350 or completion of the Philosophical Inquiry section of the Core. (Offered as needed/3 credits) 

An introduction to African political thought from the pre-colonial period to the present. Emphasis will be given to the impact of Islam, cultural nationalism, nationalism, revolutionary theories, democracy, African socialism and Marxism of major African political theorists.

HNPS 354 African Political Autobiography (CORE—Non-Western Civilization)

Prerequisite: HIST 246, AFPS 353 or completion of the Philosophical Inquiry section of the Core. Open to sophomores, juniors or seniors in the Honors Program, or permission of the instructor. (Offered as needed/3 credits) 

This course explores the connections between autobiography, political philosophy and politics in African autobiographies. Selected African autobiographies from the 17th to the 21st centuries will be analyzed by authors from East, North, Central and Southern Africa to determine how they criticized their societies, suggested social and political alternatives and promoted social change.

AFPS 355 African-American Political Thought (CORE—Western Civilization)

Prerequisite: Junior or senior standing only, or permission of the instructor. (First semester—odd years/3 credits) 

The course examines African-American political thought in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries within the parameters of Western political discourse. Topics include the changing definitions of African-American conservatism, neoconservatism, nationalism, liberalism, radicalism and feminism.

HNPS 356 Jamestown: Commemoration and Interpretation (CORE—Western Civilization)

Prerequisite: Completion of the Social and Behavioral Analysis category of the Core. Open to political science majors and sophomores, juniors or seniors in the Honors Program or with permission of the instructor. (First semester—as needed/3 credits) 

This course will explore the ways in which national historical events are commemorated with specific reference to the 2007 Jamestown celebrations. The issues of race, politics and gender will be examined as well as the ways in which the founding of Jamestown is represented in film and literature.

PSCI 375 Independent Study in Political Science

Prerequisite: Permission of the department. (Either semester/1, 2 or 3 credits) 

A readings course to supplement the regular offerings of the department. Conferences and written reports.

PSCI 399 Internship in Political Science

Prerequisites: 18 credits in political science and permission of the instructor. Note: only 3 credits from PSCI 399 count toward the 30 credits of political science required for majors. (Either semester/3-15 credits) 

An introduction to political behavior in a legal or policy-making setting through supervised full- or part-time work for a complete semester or an equivalent summer term (14 weeks). Students may be placed in a variety of settings: governmental or legislative offices, the court system, interest groups or research organizations. Grading is on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis.

PSCI 405/505 Civil Liberties

Prerequisites: 12 credits of political science, history and sociology, including PSCI 203 and SOC 101, and permission of the instructor. (Course is offered as needed/3 credits) 

The theory and history underlying civil liberties in contemporary American culture. Cases and readings. Freedom of expression and association, freedom of religion, fair trial and rights of the accused.

ECPS 414/514 Environmental Policy

Prerequisites: PSCI 203, 210 or 215, and ECON 310, or permission of the instructor. (Second semester/3 credits) 

This is a comparative course on the making and implementing of environmental policies in developed and developing countries. The focus is on the evolution of environmental policymaking and on the problems associated with implementing environmental policies in different political and institutional contexts.

PSCI 470 Seminar on Politics

Prerequisites: PSCI 205 and senior standing or permission of the department. (Second semester/3 credits/2 class hours) 

This is the capstone course required of all political science majors. It is an intensive study of political topics which will vary each year. Presentation of oral reports and preparation of research papers.

LWPS 406 International Law

Prerequisites: PSCI 215 or LWPS 230 or PSCI 307 or permission of the instructor. (Second semester—odd years/3 credits) 

International law commonly is defined as the rules, principles, and norms which govern the interaction among states. Many scholars of international relations view international law as a meaningful tool for providing order to world politics and for minimizing global conflict. Other scholars of international relations dismiss international law as insignificant. According to these scholars, state interests-- not internationally agreed-upon rules, principles, and norms--guide interaction among states. In this course, we will investigate the basic question underlying this debate over the utility of international law: does international law act as a constraint on state autonomy, or is it merely used by states when it is in their self-interest? Finally, we will examine the influence of global civil society, multinational corporations, and other non-state actors in the development and application of international law.

PSCI 219 Model United Nations

(Second semester/1 credit--may be repeated for a maximum of 4 credits.)

The Model United Nations is a national and professional organization that hosts an annual simulation experience in New York City every spring. Participants assume the role of a delegate from another country, craft, and submit position papers. Participants in this course are required to enroll in the one credit course to provide critical preparation for the simulation experience. 

 

 

 

HNPS 327 Frederick City, MD: From Colony to Suburb (CORE—Western Civilization)

Prerequisites: Completion of the Social and Behavioral Analysis area of the Core. Open to political science majors and sophomores, juniors, and seniors in the Honors Program, or with permission of the instructor. (First semester—as needed/3 credits) 

Frederick City will be studied from the perspectives of art, demography, economics, history, literature, race, politics and sociology. The evolution of Frederick City from a frontier colony to a suburb of Washington, DC will be examined in the light of regional, national and global forces.

HNPS 327 Frederick City, MD: From Colony to Suburb (CORE—Western Civilization)(2)

Prerequisites: Completion of the Social and Behavioral Analysis area of the Core. Open to political science majors and sophomores, juniors, and seniors in the Honors Program, or with permission of the instructor. (First semester—as needed/3 credits) 

Frederick City will be studied from the perspectives of art, demography, economics, history, literature, race, politics and sociology. The evolution of Frederick City from a frontier colony to a suburb of Washington, DC will be examined in the light of regional, national and global forces.

PSCI 500 Government in Contemporary Society

(Offered as needed/3 credits) 

The relationship of the individual to government. The political situation in the United States.

AFPS 501 African-American Political Autobiography (Humanities Elective)

(Offered as needed/3 credits) 

This course examines the connections between autobiography, political philosophy, utopian thought and politics in African-American autobiographies. Selected African-American political autobiographies will be analyzed to determine the criticisms authors launched against their societies, the social and political alternatives suggested, and the agencies they suggested be mobilized to institute change.

PSCI 505/405 Civil Liberties

Prerequisite: Permission of the department. (Interdisciplinary: political science, law/Offered as needed/3 credits) 

The theory and history underlying civil liberties in contemporary American culture. Cases and readings. Freedom of expression and association, freedom of religion, fair trial, rights of the accused.

PSCI 507 American Constitutional Law (Humanities Elective)

(First semester/3 credits) 

The powers of the state and national governments as interpreted by leading decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States. The development of modern constitutional doctrines.

PSCI 508/408 Regulatory Politics and the Law

Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor. (Second semester/3 credits) 

Addresses how Congress has delegated power to administrative and federal regulatory agencies; how these regulatory agencies function in our society; how courts review agency actions; and how regulation and administration impact on individual rights.

ECPS 514/414 Environmental Policy

Prerequisite: PSCI 500 or permission of the department. (Second semester/3 credits) 

This is a comparative course on the making and implementing of environmental policies in developed and developing countries. The focus is on the evolution of environmental policy making and on the problems associated with implementing environmental policies in different political and institutional contexts.

AFPS 553 Contemporary African Political Thought (Humanities Elective)

(Offered as needed/3 credits) 

An introduction to African political thought from the pre-colonial period to the present. Emphasis will be given to the impact of Islam, cultural nationalism, nationalism, revolutionary theories, democracy, African socialism and Marxism of major African political theorists.

PSCI 595 Independent Research Project

Prerequisites: PSY 503, permission of the instructor and enrollment in the concentration. (3 credits) 

A basic or applied research project. A written report of the project results is required to be submitted to the instructor at the end of the project. Evidence of an approved topic with a signed Permission to Enroll Form must be submitted to the Graduate School at the time of registration.